Inhabiting the Grid
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde is pleased to present German-Iranian artist Haleh Redjaian’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, entitled Inhabiting the Grid. In “Grids,” art critic Rosalind Krauss’ authoritative essay on the subject, she dogmatically positions the grid as the modernist tool par excellence, a formal structure that firmly and finally expels from the realm of the visual, all traces and possibilities of literature and narrative, reality and illusion . Though grids recur throughout Haleh Redjaian’s oeuvre, she has consistently experimented with novel ways of challenging this dogma, creating art that remains minimal and non-objective but creates space for the expression of individual subjective experiences like memory, emotion and affect. Redjaian’s most recent work has been influenced by her reading of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. In it Bachelard develops a unique approach to understanding and analysing built space by combining phenomenology’s embodied subjectivity with the poetics of everyday life and individual experience. He begins his analysis with the house, arguing that it is always more than a purely functional configuration of orthogonal planes. Embodied and affective experiences make the structural rigidity of such spaces undeniably flexible, allowing room for poetry. Retained as memories and reactivated through feats of imagination, such subjective experiences of space are retrieved through a unique cognitive faculty that is a powerful combination of the two, what Bachelard calls “daydreams.” Redjaian approaches the grid the way Bachelard reads the house. In her drawings on paper, textile works, wall drawings, and installations using thread, the grid is never entirely dominant or only functional. Its authoritative logic is subtly and repeatedly challenged. It does not appear as inert, rational and objective but as dynamic, partial, and contingent.
Haleh Redjaian (born 1971, Frankfurt) lives and works in Berlin. She completed a Postgraduate degree in Fine Art from HISK, Antwerp. Her works on paper, textiles and site-specific wall installations are grounded in geometry, but she uses its rules to reshape and retrace the apparent order of angles and lines. Her compositions subtly belie their own errors and form what she calls a ‘natural abstract language’. Redjaian believes that these works, nimble yet systematic, refer in part to the manner in which people create, adapt to and deviate from order in their lives. She often bases her drawings on a precise background, such as grid paper, and weave graphite into its rigid structures with rough shadings and free-radical lines. Conversely, Redjaian may overlay two pieces of grid paper, drawing directly onto their discordant lines, creating a paradoxical order in the result. She has participated in several group and solo exhibitions including in sequence I and II in Bregenz and Munich (2016), Out of Office at Museum fur Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt (2017) and Stadtische Galerie, Bietigheim-Bissingen (2018), inbetween spaces at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2015) and Up on the toe, the air is thinner at Arratia Beer, Berlin (2015), among others.
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